“The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes,” by Leonard Goldberg
The game is afoot, Watson! We recently discovered this wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable first book in a series that features young, attractive Joanna Blaylock as the daughter of the famous detective. A must read for fans of Sherlock Holmes, or anyone who enjoys a mystery with a little romance and lots of deductive logic!
Sherlock Holmes has long since passed away. The famed detective is survived by his partner, John Watson, who continues to receive visitors at 221B Baker St. He offers them whatever assistance he can provide. Watson’s aim, as he puts it, is to find ways to "remain relevant."
When a woman comes to his doorstep with a claim that her recently deceased husband could not possibly have committed suicide, Watson, along with his son, decide to investigate. John Watson Junior has followed in his father’s footsteps to become a doctor and works as a pathologist. The pair soon meet a second widow. A woman with uncanny powers of deduction named Joanna Blalock. The three of them join forces to catch a master criminal who has recently started down on a path that involves murder.
The picture of Edwardian London is rendered in a way that feels authentic, with just enough detail that the reader can almost hear the sound of horse-drawn carriages on cobblestone streets. I would not describe the book as humorous, but neither would I consider it as a dark tale. There is no profanity, gratuitous violence, or sex. It is a cozy, in the same sense that Agatha Christie could be considered a cozy. That doesn’t mean there is no suspense. You will find plenty between the covers.
The author excels in his description of how Joanna uses deductive reasoning to turn seemingly mundane observations into brilliant insights. I was repeatedly delighted by the manner in which this was accomplished. Chapter after chapter, the daughter of Sherlock Holmes gradually unravels a complicated and intricately planned mystery. Her talents are on a par with that of the famous detective. The author’s talent is, dare I say it, on a par with that of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Another element I found intriguing is the manner in which the author seasoned what is decidedly a Holmesian tale with a pinch of romance. Doyle is quoted as having once said that Sherlock Holmes was his attempt to create mysteries that replaced romance with science. The romantic element in this novel enhances the tale without overwhelming the plot.
It is hard to imagine any fan of Sherlock Holmes, or Agatha Christie for that matter, who would not thoroughly enjoy this reincarnation of a detective who values logic and deductive reasoning above all else. Submitted as proof that we were genuinely smitten by Joanna Blalock, we have now begun the second novel in the series. The game is afoot, again.